No remedies are more effective than serpent poisons in helping cases of systemic bacterial poisoning. If, after a surgical operation, symptoms of commencing septicaemia are visible Lachesis or Crotalus should be given at once. In acute tuberculosis or acute exacerbations of other chronic diseases Crotalus and Elaps are to be preferred to Lachesis.

The most important snake poisons dealt with in Homoeopathic pharmacopoeia are Lachesis, Crotalus, Naja, Elaps and Vipera. These snake poisons are perhaps the deadliest of the animal poisons and produce symptoms of direct poisoning of the nerve centers without local inflammation or blood changes. We are concerned more with the therapeutic action of the drugs prepared with these snake poisons than with their physiological effects and explanations.

All the snake poisons as a group have some characteristics common to all of them and when these symptoms are indicated in a patient, we at once remember one or the other of the serpent poisons is indicated in elimination of the other drugs in the pharmacopoeia. The aggravation of al the troublesome symptoms after sleep, the very marked sensitiveness of the body surface so that even mere touching is unbearable and the relief from the appearance of a discharge and septic states and general disorganization of blood by septic toxaemia or zymotic miasmatic diseases are common indications for all the serpent poisons.

All the snake poisons are also indicated generally in haemorrhages, disturbances of the nervous system and heart complaints. But in these indications, each of them has its own marked sphere. Lachesis acts more on the nervous system, Crotalus has more marked tendency to haemorrhages and has less profound action on the nervous system and greater exhaustion than Lachesis. In Naja the heart symptoms are more predominant and in Elaps there is discharging of dark, black blood. Vipera acts on the venous system.

No remedies are more effective than serpent poisons in helping cases of systemic bacterial poisoning. If, after a surgical operation, symptoms of commencing septicaemia are visible Lachesis or Crotalus should be given at once. In acute tuberculosis or acute exacerbations of other chronic diseases Crotalus and Elaps are to be preferred to Lachesis.


Of all the serpent poisons, Lachesis has the widest range of action and may be treated as one of the polychrests. It is adapted to the complaints of old topers with broken-down constitutions, and women at the climacteric period, and of the anaemic, nervous and sensitive persons with a melancholic disposition.

It acts best on the blood, brain and nerves and its complaints are mostly left-sided and change from left to right. Lachesis symptoms arise as a result of injuries, punctured wounds, poisoned wounds, grief, vexation, fright, jealousy, alcoholic excesses, warm weather, excessive heat of sun, physiological constitutional changes at the climacteric period and suppressed discharges.

Lachesis has peculiar sensations of tearing and constrictions, soreness, rawness, beating, throbbing; and has marked weakness, restlessness and sensitiveness. It is the “enemy of all constrictions”.

It has its own modalities indicating its use. Lachesis patients generally suffer in early morning and from noon to 12 p.m., from warmth of bed, before a thunder storm and from the heat of the sun. All his troubles are < during sleep. The heat of the sun makes him languid, dizzy and produces congestion of head. It is extremely useful to remove the ill effect of summer heat and even sun-stroke in tropical countries like India after Glonoine has controlled the acute symptoms. Similarly, hot drinks and hot rooms aggravate the symptoms.

The patient is quite all right when he is awake and when he becomes sleepy all his sufferings multiply and gradually increase a thousand times and after he awake and when he becomes sleepy all his sufferings multiply and gradually increase a thousand times; and after he awakens his body is full of suffering, physically and mentally. The throat symptoms are aggravated especially in sleep and he feels suffocated and awakens almost choked up. Lachesis is also indicated when there is < from lying on painful side; violent bleeding, abuse of mercury, use of acids and narcotics. Whenever a discharge is suppressed from any organ some severe pain is felt. All the symptoms ameliorate when the discharge appears, while eating and loosening garments and in open air.

The mental symptoms of the Lachesis patient are very distinguishing. He is very active and lively and cannot sleep for a long time owing to a continuous stream of ideas flowing unceasingly. He jumps from one subject to another and is extremely loquacious. “He thinks he is under superhuman control” and has great self-consciousness; self-conceit, envy, hatred, a revengeful spirit and cruel disposition. He has extreme jealousy, suspects his own wife committed sin; he suspects everybody and suspects he will be poisoned and so does not take medicine. He thinks he dies if he goes to sleep. He confuses morning with evening and has no time sense. Low muttering delirium.

As regards the head symptoms, he feels vertigo in the morning on waking; headache extending to the roof of nose. The headache is of surging nature and comes in waves. Cardiac symptoms are frequently connected with the headache symptoms. He feels weight and pressure on the head. Over-sensitiveness to touch and hard pressure often relieves. Rush of blood to head; heat in head; pressive headache with nausea, one-sided headache; numbness and crawling on left side of head; hair falls off, worse during pregnancy; aversion to sun-rays; headache due to suppression of discharges as menses, coryza, perspiration, nosebleed, are some among the many head symptoms.

The eyes are over-sensitive to light. He feels when his throat is pressed, the eyes were pressed out. Inflammatory and congestive conditions of the eyes. Retinitis apoplectica, yellowness of the skin and whites of eyes and lachrymal fistula are seen. The slightest touch of the ear causes violent spasmodic cough. There is pain in ears with sore throat. Tearing extending from the zygoma into the ear. Whizzing as from insects in the ear. Hearing diminished.

Lachesis is indicated also in nosebleed which is dark. It is generally attended with amenorrhoea. There will be blowing of blood mostly in the morning. The coryza is preceded by headache, discharge watery with red nostrils, herpes on lips. The facial expression of a Lachesis patient is like that of a drunkard with flushes of heat. Face pale with fainting, dizzy with headache, yellow complexion with redness of cheeks, erysipelatous inflammation. Left side of the face and lower jaw swollen and sensitive to touch.

In facial neuralgia, left sided, orbital, feeling of stiffness in the malar bone coming from cervical glands. Face perplexed, mottled, puffy eyelids. The mouth and tongue may be inflamed, swollen and painful; great soreness, the gums swollen, spongy, bleed easily. Tongue seems like leather, swollen, burns, trembles; dry, cracked at tip, catches on teeth, red or brown or even blackening. Excessive thirst; toothache extending to ear. Difficult speech; tongue heavy, cannot open mouth.

The throat symptoms of Lachesis are very peculiar and uncommon and distinguish the Lachesis patient from others. The throat is so sensitive to touch that he has to unbutton the neck of his shirt; avoids all tight and hard collars. Any thing touching throat causes suffocation. The throat is raw and there is constant hawking of mucus. Throat seems swollen; better from swallowing food.

Empty swallowing or swallowing of saliva < more than swallowing solids. Feeling of something sticking in throat obliging to swallow constantly. Tonsillitis worse left side; choking when swallowing or when swallowing pains from throat to ear. Liquids more difficult to swallow than solids. Fluids regurgitate through nose. Malignant diphtheria. Constant tickling in throat with dryness or burning. Unable to swallow warm drinks. It is the best remedy for epithelioma and lupus and in syphilitic sore throat.

Among the respiratory symptoms, sensitiveness and reflex spasms, constriction of the larynx and a mere touch of the larynx brings on cough; tickling in trachea with a fatiguing dry cough indicate Lachesis. If there is pneumonia of the left lung, especially septic, with a sinking heart and persistent temperature, Lachesis will save the situation; and if the right lung is affected Crotalus or Elaps may be preferred. Sense of suffocation and strangulation on lying down; spasm of glottis. Breath stops on falling asleep.

Constantly obliged to take a deep breath. Spitting of large quantities or ropy mucus. After a long wheezing cough suddenly spits up profuse frothy tenacious mucus. Lachesis has not such profound action on the heart as Naja but it acts when there is palpitation with fainting, cramp-like pains and dyspnoea, quickened irregular pulse, numbness of left arm. Restless, trembling anxious feeling about heart, hasty speech; weight on chest; heart feels constricted. Rheumatism of heart. Pulse small, weak, accelerated and intermittent. When valvular disease is present Naja is indicated. Lachesis patient lies on his right side as lying on left side causes suffocation and a feeling as if the heart ceases to function with every beat.

Lanka Rama Rao